In your face, Seattle: Piniella wins Manager of the Year

Welcome to the maiden voyage of a piece I like to call “In your face, Seattle.” Here at IYFS, we’ll examine a wide range of sports-related topics that are essentially salt in the wounds of Seattle sports fans. Whether it be Jim McIlvaine returning to the NBA with a 50-point performance off the bench of the Oklahoma City Thunder or Bobby Ayala closing out Game 7 of the World Series, IYFS will be here to cover it and get the fan reaction.

Our first IYFS is dedicated to former Mariner manager Lou Piniella, who today was named National League Manager of the Year. Piniella led the 2008 Chicago Cubs to a first-round playoff exit (not exactly MOY-type material, but the voting is conducted before the playoffs begin) and a National League-best 97 regular season wins in capturing the award.


Piniella, as many of our sober readers may recall, managed the Seattle Mariners from 1993 to 2002, before gracefully taking his leave to be closer to his family in Florida following the ’02 season. Major accomplishments include the Mariners first winning record in 1993 (82-80, .506 winning percentage); first postseason appearance in franchise history in 1995; subsequent postseason appearances in 1997, 2000, and 2001; and an all-time record 116 regular-season wins in 2001 (tying the 1908 Chicago Cubs for that achievement). Piniella also posted a winning record in seven of the ten seasons he was in Seattle, which may not seem that impressive to the untrained observer, but is pretty much grounds for Hall of Fame induction here in the Northwest.

Though he’s been somewhat of a nomad in the six years since leaving Seattle (having spent three years as the manager of the then-moribund Tampa Bay then-Devil Rays, one year as a color commentator for Fox, and now two years with the Cubs), Piniella has seemingly found the greener pastures he went searching for more than a half a decade ago in Chicago. While we applaud the successes of one of our former hometown heroes, it really serves to underscore the municipal sports scene when a man who walked out on us like a weekend parent with three kids is still near and dear to hearts in the Emerald City. So in your face, Seattle, Lou Piniella is doing just fine.

Cora in ’09?

It’s official, Joey Cora has been interviewed as a potential candidate for the Mariners open managerial post. The interview took place Tuesday afternoon and early reports indicate no tears were shed by either of the involved parties, so good news there.

All jokes aside, the real question we should be asking right now is, “Is Joey Cora a good fit for the Mariners?” He’s without a doubt the most recognizable figure amongst a crowd of no-names–Brad Mills and DeMarlo Hale (Red Sox), Chip Hale (Diamondbacks), Jose Oquendo (Cardinals), Don Wakamatsu (A’s), and Randy Ready (Padres) are the other six candidates, none of whom (including Cora) have Major League managing experience–and is easily the fan’s choice for next M’s skipper, but let’s be honest here: Does Joey Cora really strike you as the managing type? And for this ballclub?

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Tuba Man Memorial Tonight

Just a reminder that there will be a public memorial for Tuba Man Edward McMichael this evening at 6:30 PM at the Qwest Field Events Center. Doors will open at 5:30 PM for the event and will feature musical guests, a variety of guest speakers, and representatives from the Mariners and Seahawks.

Issaquah native Lincecum wins Cy Young

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum capped off an All-Star sophomore season by winning the National League Cy Young Award yesterday. Despite his team’s 72-90 record and second-to-last-place finish in the NL West, Lincecum managed to piece together an 18-5 record, 2.62 ERA, and Major League-high 265 strikeouts while featuring a fastball that consistently topped out above 95 MPH to complement a vicious, “12-to-6” curveball.

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The State of Seattle Sports

I was reading Sports Illustrated today when I came across an article titled “Sportspocalypse Now,” written by Chris Ballard. Depicting none other than our fair city, Ballard’s one-page essay was devoted to the sad state of athletics in Seattle. There was talk of the Sonics’ departure, naturally, as well as the trio of ineptitude in the forms of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Husky Football progam. Ballard went so far as to visit our city to fully immerse himself in the tragedy that is the Seattle sports scene.

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